I just created an LJ account so that I could come online and get some help.
<lj-cut text="I'm a new mom to a one month old baby boy and I'm having lots of pain with breastfeeding.">
The first week was painful, but that was to be expected. The hospital lactation consultant helped me out while I was there, made sure his latch was good and things were pretty okay for a while. Somewhere around the 2nd week, my nipples started to hurt quite a bit. It's still like that. It feels like needles when he is feeding. I've cried over it at least once a day for the past week or so.
I've gone online and looked at lots of different websites - kellymom.com, breastfeeding.com, etc. and looked at what could be the problem. I also went and bought "The Woman Art of Breastfeeding." Everything I've read makes it sound like bad latch, but everything I've read about latching makes it sound like he's latched correctly. His mouth covers almost all of my areola (sp?) and his lips are curled out. In fact, I can tell when it's a BAD latch, because it hurts even more! I practically shriek when it's a bad latch. The symptoms don't lead me to believe it's thrush, and i've ruled out plugged duct because I've already had one of those and corrected it. It's my nipples that hurt, so I'm ruling out mastitis, too.
Upon recommendation of my husband, I called the hospital yesterday and talked to a lactation consultant. She asked a bunch of questions and ultimately decided that it was maybe the fact that he falls asleep at my breast and I leave him there to continue sucking. (He's such a sleepy baby that this happens most of the time.) She said this was probably causing unnecessary pressure on my nipples and making them sore. She recommended breaking the latch at the very moment I realize he's fallen asleep. I did this all yesterday and it resulted in him not eating much. He falls asleep within a few minutes of latching on. Additionally, it means I'm feeding him more often, because I know he didn't get much the last time I fed him. I think this probably causes me even more stress. And so far, the pain has not gone away.
This is really causing me some major emotional pain, too. I'm not enjoying my time with my son because of how much pain he causes. I mean, I know it's not his fault at all, but I can't get over that pretty much all the time I spend with him is done so in pain. I think that's what makes me cry the most. I love him so much, but the only time I truly enjoy him is when he's asleep. That makes me feel like a horrible mother. I don't want to miss out on this time in his life because of this.
I want to breastfeed him for all the right reasons, and I know that it's supposed to be hard at first. But is it supposed to be hard this far in? Aren't I supposed to be enjoying our feeding times?
I've considered going to a local LLL meeting, but I am not really a social type. I hate groups and meetings. I'm more of an online or one on one type. The thought of a meeting with lots of other women whom I don't know freaks me out for some reason.
I've considered pumping and giving him bottles of my milk, but so far, each time I've pumped, I've only managed to get (at most) 2 oz. out of about 30 minutes to an hour of pumping. That's so discouraging! Even more so when I think about the fact that I'm going to have to go back to work soon and will NEED to have some milk pumped and stored by then.
Please let me know what I can do. I need to know what you think might could be the problem or what I might could do to change things.